Every Monday, Pablo Vela, a busy flower distributor from Glendale, spends his one day off cleaning kennels and walking dogs at The Brittany Foundation, a non-profit, no-kill rescue in Agua Dulce. There he fell in love with Charlie, an eight year old black and white male that resembles a giant Jack Russell terrier.
“As soon as I get into his cage, Charlie gives me those sighs of relief, like ‘I thought you were never ever coming back… but you are here!’ I finally get to hug him, after all the jumping and welcome kisses,’ Vela said with a smile.
Vela and Charlie will be spending a lot more time together on Sept. 29 during Day In Their Paws, The Brittany Foundation’s annual fundraiser. For 24 hours, Vela and approximately 15 other Brittany Foundation volunteers will live in a kennel with the homeless dog of their choice to raise awareness of how shelter dogs live day after day, taking breaks only to eat and use the restroom. The kenneled volunteers will raise money for the non-profit organization by having sponsors buy their freedom at $1 per minute. All donations to The Brittany Foundation are tax-deductible.
“I think this is a powerful way to create consciousness by stepping into the dog’s shoes. I hope to bring awareness to people’s minds, of the life that shelter animals have to endure until being adopted… if that ever happens,” Vela said.
The Brittany Foundation will simultaneously host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Sept. 29, so that the public has a chance to tour the sanctuary and meet their adoptable dogs. The “Day in Their Paws’ open house will feature entertainment, a silent auction and raffle, vendors such as Tumbled Rose Tiles, plus refreshments from Los Angeles chef Stefan Niemczyk, Margo’s Bark Root Beer, and a bake sale. Special surprise guests are also in store.
DITPJulieScruffyYankeeVolunteer Julia Cammarata, 12, of Valencia, regularly helps out at the organization’s monthly bake sales in Santa Monica. This year, she’s decided to bunk with Scruffy and Yankee, a terrier and poodle whom she described as cute and playful, at Day In Their Paws. “I am doing this because I love animals and I want to help The Brittany Foundation,” she said. “I would encourage the community to support this event because it helps us raise money for the dogs to find homes.”
Founder Nancy Anderson started the non-profit in 1991 and has since placed more than 1,900 dogs, many of which had been pulled from death row at local shelters or puppy mills across Los Angeles. She hopes that Day In Their Paws will find homes for some of The Brittany Foundation’s 60-plus canine residents.
“Every dog we adopt out creates a space for another dog we can save,” she said.
“People who aren’t looking to adopt can still lend us a hand by sponsoring a volunteer or coming by the open house. Watch our website or call us for up-to-date information.”
To sponsor a volunteer or learn more about “Day In Their Paws,” visit www.brittanyfoundationonline.org. “Day In Their Paws” Open House, Saturday, Sept. 29, noon – 4 p.m. Corner of Sierra Highway and Anthony Road, Agua Dulce, 91390. Follow signs to sanctuary. For more information, call (661) 713-5240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.